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03 Jan 2018

Should we be following Canada's lead on housing?

Community housing provider Compass Housing have proposed that the Australian Government should follow Canada's lead and produce a national housing strategy in order to combat our growing housing crisis.

"For almost 40 years, federated Commonwealth governments around the world have accepted only limited responsibility for housing policy or supply," said Compass group managing director, Greg Budworth.

Canada last month broke this longstanding tradition and released a national strategy called A Place to Call Home, an historic first for them and based on a national conversation begun by the then newly elected Prime minister, Justin Trudeau. Canada's 10-year strategy will cost $40 billion and has key targets that, if achieved, will make it the envy of many nations struggling with the crisis of housing affordability.

"Like Canada, Australia's major population centres routinely feature in lists of the least affordable housing markets in the world, and younger generations are increasingly locked out of home ownership," he said.

"Add to that the fact we have more than 200,000 households on the waiting list for social housing, and that more than 40 per cent of people receiving rent assistance are still in housing stress, and it's clear we have a serious problem on our hands."

Compass is optimistic the Canadian example will encourage further progress towards the delivery of a coordinated and strategic national housing strategy, overseen by a dedicated Minister for Housing.


[ENDS]

Media contact: Martin Kennedy 0418 353 913

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Greg Budworth, Compass Group Managing Director
03 Jan 2018

Hunter business leader of the year scores new United Nations’ role

The Hunter’s business leader of the year has also been elected to another more senior role within a United Nations’ sponsored forum and picked up an Australasian award.

Group managing director of Compass Housing Services, Greg Budworth, has been elected as vice president of the UN Habitat General Assembly of Partners (GAP). He was elected after votes by the Executive Council. Mr Budworth is also the co-chair, UN Habitat Civil Society Organisations Partner Constituent Group (PCG). He was re-elected to a second term (2017-19) in that role.

The new role is another string to Mr Budworth’s bow of accolades. He took out the Outstanding Achievement Award for an individual at the Australasian Housing Institute's Awards in Sydney on November 29. He took out the NSW Award in July and was a finalist in the national awards with the other winner from each Australian state and New Zealand.  In August he was named Hunter Business Leader of the Year in the 2017 Hunter Business Awards. The organisation he heads, Compass Housing, was also named Business of the Year.

He said he was honoured to be elected for the GAP role from a group of some esteemed colleagues from around the world.

GAP members contribute to the implementation of Habitat III, a global program advancement of new ideas and ways of doing things in the field of sustainable urban development, and its New Urban Agenda 20-year outcome document.  Mr Budworth contributed to the development of the New Urban Agenda and, along with Australia’s Ambassador to the UN, was part of the Australian delegation at Habitat III.
 
Mr Budworth said his job was made easier by his excellent team who continually strive for excellence in the provision of housing for tenants and display care, diligence and hard work.

"Community housing is an important piece of community infrastructure that makes a fundamental difference to people's lives," Mr Budworth said.  

 “My vision is for GAP to grows into a wider, more inclusive and engaging consultative platform that gets the New Urban Agenda implemented globally,” he said.
 
“Locally, I want to see Australia implement the New Urban Agenda including developing a national housing plan linked to other economic development and infrastructure plans.”

Under Mr Budworth’s leadership, Compass Housing has grown to be an international community housing provider managing more than 4,600 properties and community development projects in Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu. It has been an accredited organisation with Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic & Social Council (UNECOSOC) since 2016.


Media information:

Greg Budworth is available for interview. Contact Craig Eardley on 0437 477 493.

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17 Oct 2017

Compass to take on management of an additional 1796 social housing tenancies

Hunter based Compass Housing Services has been announced as one of the big winners under a new project that will see thousands of social housing dwellings transferred to the not-for-profit community housing sector.

Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward today announced that from mid-2019 Compass will take on the management of an additional 1796 social housing tenancies in the Cessnock, Singleton, Dungog, Mid-coast and Muswellbrook local government areas as part of the Social Housing Management Transfer initiative.

Compass was selected following a rigorous three-tiered evaluation process that assessed its capacity to deliver quality services and ability to deliver good outcomes for social housing clients.

The move will bring Compass’ portfolio to more than 6200 dwellings, making it one of the largest community housing providers in the southern hemisphere.

Compass’ Group Managing Director Greg Budworth said as well as industry leading tenancy and property management, social housing tenants in the package area would benefit from a range of Compass community development programs.

“At Compass we believe community housing is about more than just providing accommodation, it’s also about building communities,” he said.

“That’s why we offer a range of programs that help tenants achieve better social and economic participation and foster a sense of belonging and connection to their homes and their communities.

“By providing links to education and employment we are also able to help those tenants with the capacity to do so to transition out of the social housing sector and into private accommodation. 

“Studies consistently show that tenants of community housing providers report high levels of satisfaction and Compass last year recorded an overall satisfaction rate of 93 per cent.  We’re excited to be able to extend our offering to our new tenants and look forward to having them as part of the Compass community.”

Currently around 19 per cent of social housing dwellings in NSW are managed by the not-for-profit sector. That figure will rise to 32 per cent under the Social Housing Management Transfer program.

Mr Budworth said the transfer would improve the financial viability of the sector by enabling tenants to access Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

“As well as contributing to high quality maintenance, and the delivery of new community programs, the additional cash flow will enable Compass to add to the supply of new affordable housing dwellings,” he said.   

The NSW Government will maintain ownership of all of the properties subject to management transfers in the Cessnock, Singleton, Dungog, Mid-Coast and Muswellbrook areas and will lease them to Compass for 20 years to provide social housing.

Tenants will remain in their homes, retain all of their tenancy rights and will not pay more rent from their current income as a result of this change.

Information sessions will be held over the months ahead to give tenants an opportunity to meet Compass staff and ask any questions they may have about the transfer.

Any Department of Family and Community Services staff affected by the transfer will be offered ongoing employment with Compass on equivalent terms and conditions.

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04 Oct 2017

Compass renews calls for a national housing plan on World Habitat Day

Compass Housing has marked World Habitat Day by renewing its calls for a national housing plan led by a dedicated federal housing minister.

The purpose of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of everyone to have adequate and affordable shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.

The theme of this year’s World Habitat Day is Housing Policies: Affordable Homes.

Compass Group Managing Director Greg Budworth said addressing housing affordability was critical to the long-term health of Australian society.   

“Australia currently has some of the most expensive housing anywhere on earth,” he said

“Both Sydney and Melbourne are already in the top 10 least affordable cities in the world and Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra aren’t far behind.”

“Even regional towns like Newcastle are extraordinarily expensive by international standards.”

“A lack of affordable housing causes economic and social segregation within our cities. It forces households to take on unsustainable levels of debt and it places those on low incomes at risk of homelessness,” he said.

“If we don’t get this right, we are condemning our children and grandchildren to a lower standard of living than the one we have enjoyed,” Mr Budworth said.

Mr Budworth said this year’s World Habitat Day marked the one year anniversary of the Australian Government signing up to the New Urban Agenda (NUA) – a 20 year United Nations roadmap that encourages countries to rethink the way they plan, manage and live in cities.

He said while there had been some positive developments, including the creation of a National Housing Finance Corporation, and new incentives to attract private investment in affordable housing, a comprehensive national plan was required to ensure momentum wasn’t lost.

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18 Sep 2017

Partner with us - Social and Affordable Housing Fund

Compass has been awarded a contract through the NSW Government’s Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF), an innovative new approach to the creation of social and affordable housing in NSW. SAHF will deliver an additional 2200 dwellings in its first phase alone.

Compass Housing is seeking developers, investors and builders to help it to deliver the multi-million $ housing project.

Compass will deliver 600 new social and affordable houses across the Hunter and Central Coast over the next three years and will create approximately $200 million worth of construction activity and support hundreds of local jobs. The majority of homes will be one and two bedroom units for social and affordable housing, with a small number of three bedroom units earmarked for development.

The Benefits

  • Involvement in the project is an attractive investment because Compass will lease the properties for a period of 23-25 years and handle all tenancy and property management.
  • Payment of rent for 52 weeks a year with no vacancies and with an annual CPI based adjustment, is guaranteed!
  • When you partner with Compass you are partnering with a well-managed, financially strong award-winning housing provider. Hunter-based Compass has grown to be an international community housing provider managing more than 4,600 properties as well as community development projects in Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu.

 

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